UW Emergency Management

April 1, 2015

March 4, 1985

A major fire occurred on the 13th floor of the Health Sciences BB Tower (Room BB-131). It started in a fume hood when a Bunsen burner caught a rubber tube on fire – then spread outside the fume hood. The lab technician was unable to turn off the gas feeding the burner and it quickly spread out of control. Once the fire was finally put out, the lab and four adjacent rooms suffered major fire, smoke and water damage. The fire burned so hot that it melted the Pyrex lab piping above the ceiling tiles and was just about 2 minutes from leaping to the next floor. Residual smoke damage can still be seen on the north-facing exterior of the building.